"There's a difference between an emotional outcry and a movement," former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young said recently of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. "This is an emotional outcry," he went on. "The difference is organization and articulation." Young knows something about social movements: as a young pastor in the South, he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was jailed for participating in demonstrations in Alabama and Florida. But his suggestion that what is happening today in lower Manhattan lacks real momentum rings false -- the civil rights movement is not a precedent one can use to understand Occupy Wall Street. Neither is this movement a Tea Party of the left, as some observers have suggested. Occupy Wall Street is a movement of a completely new type."
While the so-called "Facebook revolutions" in the Arab world were nothing of the sort*, what's going on in America right now may be the world's first genuine social-media uprising. Besides the standard channels of Facebook, whose Occupy Wall St page now has nearly 170,000 fans, Twitter, where the hashtags #occupywallst and #ows spew out dozens of tweets a minute, and of course a dedicated website, Occupy Together, protesters are also organising via Meetup, which at the time of this writing shows events planned in over 1,300 cities worldwide. On the fund-raising site Kickstarter, the founders of Occupy Wall Street Media have already brought in more than six times their original target for publishing a protest newspaper, flyers and posters, and a couple who started with the modest ambition of raising $1,000 for a film about the movement are now urgently telling supporters that their "real" goal is much higher.
"American people are more and more following the path chosen by people in the Arab world," Iran's student news agency ISNA quoted senior Revolutionary Guards officer Masoud Jazayeri as saying. "America's domineering government will face uprisings similar to those in Tunisia and Egypt."
The movement has a a single unifying message that crosses political ideologies. It is "We are the 99%." It is a clear reference to the fact that big money has usurped the government of the U.S. in such a way that the 1% who have big money decide what the government will do, if anything. It's no coincidence that the first occupation was of Wall Street, home of big money influence.
Everything else you see in online and on protest signs are concerns not being addressed by the 1% who are in control. The obvious solution is to return control of the government to the people. The obvious way to do it is to take money out of the equation.
It really is that simple. Spread the word. Check out getmoneyout.com for one way you can make a difference.
"La rue New Yorkaise scande « Nous sommes les 99% » ! Et les tweets se ponctuent de #occupywallstreet inlassablement depuis le 17 septembre. Les revendications des indignés américains et leurs ombres digitales étaient particulièrement audibles hier après midi lorsque 10 à 15 000 personnes ont affirmé leur droit d’occuper l’espace public et d’exprimer leur mécontentement à l’égard des pouvoirs publics et de l’industrie financière."
"The organizers of Occupy Wall Street (or non-organizers, as they would prefer it) have shown real media savvy by staging their demo where the network cameras and the New York Times are. Anything that happens in New York (especially Brooklyn!) is considered by New York media operations to be 100 times more interesting than anything that happens anywhere on the other side of the Hudson River. So what if the Occupy Wall Street message is muddled? The OWS pictures and energy are fresh, mostly because a mass, ongoing demo in New York is a relative novelty. How else to explain the New York Daily News‘ fevered blog coverage today: “Here’s the scene at Zuccotti Park. It is packed. There are about 3,000 people here.” No kidding?! 3,000?! That’s like the attendance at a Midwest high school football championship game!"
"What you are seeing right now is unemployed people, you are seeing people from across the city, from across the country going out there and sending a message saying 'enough is enough. Big banks and corporations need to take responsibility'. People are tired of going into their pockets and suffering from what is not their responsibility, but the responsibility of our government to help us create jobs. And these people want to go back to work, they are tired of being abused." Camille Rivera, a Wall Street demonstrator
"Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with the people of Greece, and we are inspired by their bravery and resilience. We pledge friendship and mutual support with all people across the world fighting for democracy and economic justice. In a global economy, the struggle of the 99% is necessarily a global struggle."
"I came because I am in support of the protesters, of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and elsewhere, for two basic reasons. One, I too have been profoundly affected, financially, by The Great Recession, and I grew up in poverty, my single mother and I, so it troubles me to the highest degree to see anyone in America suffering hardships, economic or otherwise. Secondly, I have been a political and community activist and organizer for 27 long years, since I was a teenage student and youth leader, and I’ve worked in all sorts of movements and mini-movements."
"Let us never forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, this country was plunged into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes and life savings as the middle class underwent an unprecedented collapse."
"... l’élément le plus intéressant d’Occupy Wall Street est l’idée que ce qui manque n’est pas les exigences, mais le processus. Ce qui manque, c’est la politique elle-même. Cela peut paraître contre-intuitif, mais il n’y a vraiment pas de politique aux États-Unis. Il y a de l’exploitation, de l’oppression, des inégalités, de la violence et des rumeurs laissent entendre qu’il y aurait encore un État."
Did JP Morgan Chase's $4.6 Million donation to the New York City Police Foundation coincide with the Occupy Wall Street protests? Does it create a conflict of interest for the NYPD? A press release on the JP Morgan Chase website announces the $4.6 million donation, but does not indicate the date of the donation (http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/article/ny-13.htm?TB_iframe=true&height=485&width=712). Was this done after the Occupy Wall Street protests began, or before? Either way, does the fact that a target of the protests gave a significant amount of money to the police create a conflict of interest? Does it explain the violence that police have used against protesters?
"This study is an expression of the moral contractions that remain in one of the richest cities in the world. Mayor Bloomberg continues to provide tax subsidizes for big business on the backs of the poor of our city."
"Several New Yorkers said they had not known about the protest until a handful ofparticipants were pepper-sprayed by a high-ranking police official last week. A video clip of the episode circulated widely on the Internet.
Others said they learned about it after roughly 700 marchers were arrested Saturday on the Brooklyn Bridge. Some indicated that they initially stayed away because they feared arrest, or were uncertain about the protest’s aims, or never considered themselves protesters."
"The San Francisco Chronicle published a list of tips for citizen journalists covering the protests, such as keep videos short, remember your battery life, keep up on your Twitter feed, don't use expensive equipment, and put coverage first before any political agenda."
Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer to the Occupy Wall Street movement."Please know that I stand by you. It is Main Street that creates the majority of jobs in America; it is Main Street that sends our brave young men and women to war; it is Main Street that hurts when another manufacturing plant closes only to be re-opened in China; it is Main Street that is being foreclosed on; and it is Main Street that is suffering while the greed of Wall Street continues to hurt our middle-class."